You may wish to review Nina Zolotow’s succinct article called My Tips for Learning Sanskrit Pose Names. It’s broken into three parts, linked here:
- Part 1 – How English and Sanskrit are related. “Some of those mysterious words you’ve been hearing will actually be easy to remember if you connect them with the corresponding English words (for example, supta for supine and kona for corner/angle).
- Part 2 – Sanskirt words for different body parts that commonly appear in pose names (for example, pada for foot and mukha for face).
- Part 3 – Modifiers that frequently appear in pose names.
Resources to support your study of Sanskrit include:
- A free Audio Pronunciation Guide by the Himalayan Institute.
- See here for a summary list of resources. For example, you might consider Home Study: Bachman’s The Language of Yoga, a reference guide that includes audios for hearing correct pronunciation. Jay Kumar, a Sanskrit scholar and yoga teacher, also offers a Sanskrit guide called The Sacred Language of Yoga with audio files.
- Research Sanskrit scholars that you resonate with. Sarah Mane, for example, is a Sanskrit scholar who “by thirteen was studying Sanskrit and in her early twenties was teaching self-awareness, philosophy, meditation and Sanskrit.” (source)
- You might search out a teacher who has studied the Sanskrit language and has a thorough understanding of it. Attend his or her classes. Observe and listen.
- Take a workshop or class that specifically focuses on the Sanskrit language or chanting.